Spokane Produce Lettuce E. coli OutbreakOn July 29, 2002, the FDA warned consumers not to consume Spokane Produce brand romaine lettuce because the product was associated with an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that occurred at a "Just for Kix" dance camp that occurred on the Cheney campus of Eastern Washington University in mid-July of 2002. The FDA reported that 29 individuals at the Eastern Washington University dance camp had been confirmed to have E. coli O157:H7. The situation was discovered when many individuals who attended the camp became ill.
Washington Department of Health (WDOH) laboratory tested the two Spokane County cases’ E. coli O157:H7 bacterial culture isolates by pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and determined they were indistinguishable. By July 31, 33 cases of E. coli O157:H7 were confirmed by culture in Spokane County.
The Spokane Regional Health District concluded that the likely source of the outbreak was romaine lettuce manufactured, distributed and sold by Spokane Produce.
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